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Products for grant RQ-260871-18

Sounding Spirit: Scholarly Editions of Southern Sacred Music, 1851–1911
Jesse Karlsberg, Emory University

Grant details:

From Proposal to Score: A Workshop on Making and Using Critical Editions (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: From Proposal to Score: A Workshop on Making and Using Critical Editions
Author: Jesse P. Karlsberg
Author: John Graziano
Author: Jessica Getman
Author: Leta Miller
Author: Ryan Bañagale
Abstract: This workshop brings together scholars and editors from the Society to provide attendees with information about critical editions and assistance with projects of their own. The first part of the workshop will feature a panel in which representatives from Recent Researches in American Music, Music of the United States of America, Sounding Spirit, and the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition will introduce their series and discuss the value of their scores to scholars, performers, and teachers. The second part of the workshop will consist of three simultaneous breakout sessions on different aspects of making a critical edition. One will focus on writing proposals, another will deal with issues that arise when working with archival materials, and the third will concern making a critical score. In these sessions, leaders will introduce the topic, share some of their experiences, and/or lead activities. At the end of the sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss their own projects with the leaders and other participants.
Date: 03/22/2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Society for American Music 2019 Conference Program
Conference Name: Society for American Music

Sounding Spirit and Readux: Cultural Paratext and Augmented Facsimile in Digital Scholarly Editions (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Sounding Spirit and Readux: Cultural Paratext and Augmented Facsimile in Digital Scholarly Editions
Author: Jesse P. Karlsberg
Abstract: Understanding significant gospel, spirituals, and shape-note music songbooks from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries involves looking beyond text and music to paratextual elements ranging from music notation system to format and page dimension to evidence of use that are important markers of these works’ cultural context. Yet most recent approaches to digital music editions, and digital editions generally, erase these markers of bibliographic form, centering new digital renderings of encoded music and text in the user’s browsing experience. In this paper, I discuss the NEH-funded forthcoming series of digital critical editions of vernacular sacred American music books from 1850–1925, Sounding Spirit, which employs Readux, a new platform for annotating and publishing digital scholarly editions developed by Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS), which emphasizes books’ bibliographic forms in their digital expression. Readux is a Django/Python application that builds on the Mirador image viewer and IIIF protocol to augment annotated digitized books with transparently rendered text in a seamless digital interface. By retaining bibliographical forms in digital (music) editions, new critical editions can better subject to analysis technologies of print that meaningfully express these works’ contexts before and after the turn of the twentieth century, a time of great dramatic demographic and cultural change that shaped intersections of race, religion, region, and music in the United States. This presentation articulates the value of an approach to digital editions that centers cultural paratext through augmented facsimile and describes the Readux platform that enables Sounding Spirit to adopt this approach to digital critical editing.
Date: 07/25/2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Embodied Archives Paper Session Overview, Association for Computers and the Humanities 2019
Conference Name: Association for Computers and the Humanities

Sounding Spirit: Tunebooks and Sacred Songs from the US South (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Sounding Spirit: Tunebooks and Sacred Songs from the US South
Author: Jesse P. Karlsberg
Author: Meredith Doster
Author: Sandra Graham
Author: Kevin Kehrberg
Author: Sara Snyder Hopkins
Abstract: Sounding Spirit is a collaborative research lab and publishing project that demonstrates the importance of sacred texts to the singers and communities who shape American music history and experience. This sectional will highlight the impact and legacy of five significant tunebooks in the Sounding Spirit series: Cherokee Singing Book (1846); The Story of the Jubilee Singers with Their Songs (1875); Class, Choir, and Congregation (1888); Soul Echoes, No. 2 (1909); and Original Sacred Harp (1911). These volumes represent periods, places, and genres that illustrate the importance of vernacular songbooks to American sacred music. These tunebooks also document dynamic encounters among white, black, and native communities whose singing and worship are often represented as discrete. In addition to sharing selections from these songbooks, Sounding Spirit editor-in-chief Jesse P. Karlsberg will co-present with the project’s volume editors on the significance of gospel, spirituals, and shape-note songbooks to both the history and practice of sacred song. Participating volume editors include senior scholars and worship leaders Drs. Meredith Doster (Emory University), Sandra Graham (Babson College), Kevin Kehrberg (Warren Wilson College), and Sara Snyder (Western Carolina University).
Date: 06/25/2020
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Video Presentation
Conference Name: The Hymn Society

Editing Hymns and Race (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Editing Hymns and Race
Author: Jesse P. Karlsberg
Author: Sara Snyder Hopkins
Author: James Abbington
Author: Meredith Doster
Abstract: This roundtable addresses approaches to unpacking racial dynamics of nineteenth- and twentieth-century vernacular hymnals from the southern United States from the perspectives of volume editors, editorial staff, and an editorial board member developing digital scholarly editions of such texts. These editions include hymnals created by and for Black, white, and Native American communities in the US South and its diasporas between the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. All are part of Sounding Spirit, a National Endowment for the Humanities–funded research lab that publishes scholarly editions and thematic collections examining race, place, religion, and culture in southern vernacular sacred music publishing. The hymnals included in Sounding Spirit feature diverse genres ranging from gospel to spirituals, dispersed harmony to “scientific” music. The editions, which pair high resolution page images with critical introductions and contextual annotations, analyze how these hymnals refracted the racial politics of the US South and its diasporas. The sacred music making represented by these works was connected to oppressive structures of slavery, Jim Crow, and Indian Removal. Hymnals also furthered resistance to racial discrimination in connection with the establishment of Black denominations and colleges and document complex relationships to settler colonial missionizing among Native Americans through hymn translation and composition. In this roundtable, moderated by Sounding Spirit managing editor Meredith Doster, volume editors Sarah Snyder Hopkins and Jesse P. Karlsberg (also the series editor-in-chief) and James Abbington (a member of the series editorial board) will discuss how they approach the racial contexts of these texts through scholarly editing.
Date: 10/22/2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Event Page
Conference Name: Hymns and Race: Agency, Mobility, Coloniality

Sounding Spirit: Scholarly Editions from the Southern Sacred Music Diaspora (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Sounding Spirit: Scholarly Editions from the Southern Sacred Music Diaspora
Author: Meredith Doster
Author: Mark Simpson-Vos
Abstract: This presentation highlights the publishing partnership between Sounding Spirit and the University of North Carolina Press that is producing five annotated facsimile editions that hope to illustrate the significance of texts and textual communities to American music history and practice. Co-facilitated by Sounding Spirit managing editor Meredith Doster and UNC Press Wyndham Robertson Editorial Director Mark Simpson-Vos, this session explores the challenges of translating the established, print-heavy genre of scholarly editions into a digital born environment. In a conversation that critically examines the genre of the scholarly edition, Doster and Simpson-Vos will raise and respond to these questions: What is the purpose of reproducing the bibliographic history of a text or series of texts? What is the value of tracing variants across issues and editions? How and why might that work matter today? And how might this genre need to continue evolving to matter more?
Date: 04/23/2021
Conference Name: Spring Summit on Enhanced and Interactive Publications